I learned critical exercise tips for women in their 20’s during a time that made such a difference in my health and my new fitness routine. Exercise is something that changed my life at age 20. Suddenly, after not exercising for years on end, and never seeing the point, fitness became what got me out of bed each day. It fueled a new passion for me, and suddenly, I started to be passionate about health as a result. I didn’t see a need to feed my body junk, because I saw how much fitness was doing for my life and my emotions. As someone who had never cared about fitness, suddenly at age 20, it was my motivation for everything. During this time, certain exercise tips for women in their 20's made the difference for me avoiding injury, stressing out my adrenal glands, or developing an imbalance in muscle strength throughout my body. I didn’t want to look like a bodybuilder, regardless that I thought they were pretty awesome! Check out these tips for exercising during your 20’s, and even your 30’s. They’re very important to your health, mind and body, and can be used no matter what your age.
1. Stop with All the Cardio
I’m a cardio nut, let me tell you, but one of the exercise tips for women in their 20’s that I first learned was not to go overboard. I typically enjoy 30-40 minutes a day, but no more. Any more and I’m actually wasting away my muscles, which I need to maintain a good lean muscle profile, along with preventing sagging, aging and muscle deterioration that leads to osteoporosis later on. Instead, during your 20’s, you should be doing a good mix of both cardio and weights for the biggest benefit. Implement strength training, which will help preserve that lean muscle and avoid the “sagging butt” we all dread!
2. Squats, Squats, Squats
Listen ladies, do your squats, no matter what! Squats, whether using both legs or one at a time are amazing for your glutes, hammies and your core actually. Be sure you use good posture while doing squats as well. Squats increase your metabolism more than other forms of leg exercises because they use multiple body parts and require you to propel your body. During your 20’s, most likely you might work a desk job, or job that requires sitting, even if in your car. If this is the case, you definitely need squats! They help tone your rear, which can get muscle weak from sitting a lot during the day. Do 20 a day, four times a week, and work up to 30 squats on those day if you can. If you really want to go all out, do 2-3 sets per day as well.
3. Do It Most Days of the Week
During your 20’s, you’re at a prime time for setting yourself up for good exercise behavior your whole life. While you don’t want to become obsessive, now is the perfect time to start training your brain to make exercise a daily part of your life, or at least 5-6 days a week. Forming healthy habits early on is the best thing you can do to succeed the rest of your life. Remember, every day you choose to exercise, that night you can say, “ I did it!”
4. Get up Early
Another fitness tip I suggest for every woman in her 20’s, is to do it early on in the day. I’m not saying you can’t have a great fitness routine at night, because you can. However, getting up early during your 20’s to work out is the best option, because during this time, most likely, you’re busy at night with plans with your friends, your man, or maybe your kids. Or, perhaps your office has a killer happy hour routine you don’t want to miss. Whatever the case, getting up early is the best thing you can do to ensure you get in your fitness routine for the day.
5. Eat for Your Body
During your 20’s, I want to stress that it’s more important than ever to quit with the dieting mentality, and start literally feeding your body and your fitness routine. Processed diet foods need to become a thing of the past. They make you tired, specifically those that contain highly refined protein powders like soy protein isolates and improperly sourced whey. Most processed diet foods are also full of artificial sweeteners, and some even have large amounts of sugar in them, which all exhaust your body and will make you tired, mess with your hormones and they don’t help you lose weight. Instead, eat smart. Choose, whole plant foods, and strive to get more protein and healthy fats with greens and green veggies than you do sources of sugar. Your fitness routine will improve, along with your brain and body.
6. Work Your Heart
I’m not a fan of incredibly intense exercise, because too much HIIT can stress you out, believe it or not. It increases cortisol in the body and for those prone to anxious behaviors ( ahem, like me), it can increase your blood sugar, blood pressure and leave you stressed out after working out. Instead, incorporate less stressful exercises that also raise your heartbeat, but in a less stressful way. For me, these are incline walking, some jogging, along with kettlebells, hand weights, fast paced yoga, and some forms of Pilates. I always leave my workouts with an increased heart rate, but not to the point I’m stressed out. P90X was the worst thing I’ve ever done for my nerves, and I found it almost ridiculous to the point of not enjoying exercise anymore. Raising your heartrate is important for improving your metabolism, but do it the smart way, and not the way that everyone else says is the only way to get fit.
7. Stay Active
Lastly, the best tip for staying and becoming fit in your 20’s, is to start adding active habits to your day now. This means not sitting too much during the day, doing chores around your house, which is a good tip anyway, and cooking more of your meals, which is a great calorie burner, believe it or not! Keep up with your laundry, which I know is no fun, but also a great way to stay active at home, and keep television to a minimum. Even getting a dog you know you can care for properly is a great way to stay active as they’ll need to be walked and played with daily. Also, try to walk more around your office, or to your office if possible, and just be active in general. While you need to take time to relax, you also need to not overdo it.
On one last note, I will add another tip to consider if you’re looking to learn healthy fitness habits in your 20’s. Each night, be sure you relax properly before bed and that you get enough rest. This gives your mind time to recover, along with those great muscles you’ve worked all day. A girl needs her exercise, but she also needs her sanity, and her rest. If you’re in your 20’s, or any other age, what’s your best fitness tip?